The University of Iowa has approved a plan for managing the conflict of interest of having Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz’s future son-in-law work in the UI Athletic Department.
The Gazette reported March 6 that Tyler Barnes, engaged to Joanne Ferentz, has been working as an administrative assistant for the football program since January 2012.
The Athletic Department reassigned Barnes March 7 so he no longer reports through football and submitted a conflict-of-interest management plan April 10. The UI’s Committee on Conflict of Interest in Employment, composed of nine faculty and staff, approved the plan April 19.
Most of the plan is confidential, but it does change Barnes’s supervisor.
Since March 7, Barnes was asked to report to Rick Klatt, associate athletics director for external relations. He now reports to Steve Roe, director of athletic communications, said Sue Buckley, UI’s vice president for human resources.
Barnes, 27, and Joanne Ferentz, a 26-year-old Iowa City elementary school teacher, were dating when Barnes was hired. They got engaged last summer and are planning a July 6 wedding.
The UI’s policy on nepotism says conflicts of interest in employment can arise not only from blood relationship, but through marriage, “intense personal friendships or significant business relationships.” When conflicts can’t be avoided, the UI requires supervisors to create plans for managing the conflict.
Barnes, who earned two Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s degree from UI, was hired in January 2012 as a temporary administrative assistant for football.
The one-year appointment with an annual salary of $32,000 was intended as a proving ground for young men who want to learn about football operations, Kirk Ferentz told the Gazette in March. Barnes succeeded LeVar Woods, who became an assistant coach earlier this year.
Athletics officials asked the UI in November to extend Barnes’s employment for an extra year and bumped up his pay to $38,000.
Ferentz told the Gazette he didn’t see a reason to tell Athletics Director Gary Barta about the change in Barnes’s personal status.